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Location: Kenya

Regional Program: Western Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 245 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

This project is a part of our shared program with Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO). Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

In Bukhakunga Community, women wake up early to fetch water to help prepare their children for school. The remainder of this water is used for domestic chores. When finished cleaning, women join their husbands on their farms. This being the season for planting crops, they are now preparing the land for maize, beans and other vegetables. When harvested, some of the crops are sold to earn a living. This helps them feed, clothe and pay educational fees for their children.

Water Situation

The 245 people living in Bukhakunga rely on Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring. Its water is used to meet all of their needs, such as drinking, cooking, cleaning, and watering animals. The spring is open to contamination from human and animal activity and waste that’s washed into the water during rains.

During the dry season, the number of people relying on this spring increases because many other springs dry up. The overcrowding during these months has really been a challenge to community members. Even more so, the dirty water has caused locals to constantly fight waterborne sicknesses like typhoid, cholera, and diarrhea.

Sanitation Situation

Less than a quarter of households located around the spring have a pit latrine! They are all in bad condition, and many families share them. The floors are made of wooden logs which cannot be cleaned and are rotting with age. This poses danger to both young and old users, who struggle to balance. Many other locals opt to avoid these conditions entirely, and instead seek the privacy of bushes.

Even less families have hand-washing stations or other helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will attend hygiene and sanitation training for at least two days. This training will ensure participants are no longer ignorant about healthy practices and their importance. The facilitator plans to use PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation), CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation), ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations at the spring.

Training will also result in the formation of a committee that will oversee operations and maintenance at the spring. They will enforce proper behavior around the spring and delegate tasks that will help preserve the site, such as building a fence and digging proper drainage.

Plans: Sanitation Platforms

On the final day of training, participants will select five families that should benefit from new latrines.

Training will also inform the community and selected families on what they need to contribute to make this project a success. They must mobilize locally available materials, such as bricks, clean sand, hardcore, and ballast. The five families must prepare by sinking a pit for the sanitation platforms to be placed over. All community members must work together to make sure that accommodations and food are always provided for the work teams.

Plans: Spring Protection

Fetching water is predominantly a female role, done by both women and young girls. Protecting the spring and offering training and support will therefore help empower the female members of the community by giving them more time and efforts to engage and invest in income-generating activities.

Protecting the spring will ensure that its water is safe, adequate and secure. Construction will keep surface runoff and other contaminants out of the water. “This is an answered prayer to us because it is 40 years now we have bean drinking this water which is not safe and clean,” said Alice, a sanitation and hygiene teacher who lives in Bukhakunga.

Recent Project Updates

10/31/2017: Bukhakunga Community Project Complete

Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring in Bukhakunga Community, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen!  Now, want to do a bit more? Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was organized between our staff and the recently elected chairwoman of the water user committee. This committee was established to oversee the project from start to finish, and to manage and maintain the spring protection so that it can serve the community for years to come. Chairwoman Felestus also worked with community members to set the most convenient dates for training.

Training was held on the land of Mr. Indiatsi Omukitsa himself, since he lives closest to the spring. Attendance was good, with many women sacrificing time working on their farms or kitchen gardens to gather together and learn.

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We were happy that a couple men even took the time to attend! Women have always been viewed as most responsible for hygiene and sanitation.

Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. The community should refrain from washing clothes, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.

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The teaching participants using illustrations of good and bad hygiene practices.

The women particularly enjoyed the demonstration and practice on the 10 steps of hand-washing. We also taught them how to make their own tippy-taps (hand-washing stations) to place outside of their latrines.

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After this hand-washing session, we noticed a quick response with women installing stations in all of their homes. They were also quick to have their husbands build new dish racks and suspend clotheslines.

Project Result: Sanitation Platforms

All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.

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The artisan casting a sanitation platform.

Project Result: Spring Protection

Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). This was one of the most challenging parts of this spring protection, since the roads to the community are very poor. The community had hired a truck to deliver sand, but it couldn’t get through the muddy roads for a couple of days. Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided, and a few people even volunteered their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.

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A local man wheeling sand to the construction site.

The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.

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The artisan building the foundation of the spring protection catchment area.

As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe.  Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.

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This process has transformed Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. Mrs. Beatrice Muhati said, “Since our spring is now protected, our health will now improve because we are drinking clean and safe water!” Mr. Peter Muserah was there too, and he might be motivated enough to help his wife fetch the clean water they need. He was impressed with the ease of access to such great quality water. He said, “I never imagined that one day, we as a community can access clean and safe drinking water!”

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05/11/2017: Bukhakunga Community

Bukhakunga Community will soon have a clean, safe source of water thanks to your donation. Community members have been drinking contaminated water from Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring, and often suffer physical illnesses after doing so. Our partner conducted a survey of the area and deemed it necessary to protect the spring, build new sanitation platforms (safe, easy-to-clean concrete floors for latrines), and conduct sanitation and hygiene training. Thanks to your generosity, waterborne disease will no longer be a challenge for the families drinking the spring’s water. We look forward to sharing more details with you as they come! But for now, please take some time to check out the report containing community information, pictures, and maps.

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Protected Spring
Location:  Kakamega, Indiatsi
ProjectID: 4726
Install Date:  10/31/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 12/07/2017

Visit History:
10/18/2017 — Functional
12/07/2017 — Functional


Project Sponsor - Yakima Foursquare Church

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Country Details


Population: 39.8 Million
Lacking clean water: 43%
Below poverty line: 50%

Partner Profile

Western Water and Sanitation Forum (WEWASAFO) works together with less privileged and marginalized members of communities in Western Kenya to reduce poverty through harnessing and utilization of local resources for sustainable development.